D.C. police lieutenant delivered pre-Jan. 6 tips from Tarrio to Capitol Police, Proud Boy's lawyer says - POLITICO
Category: News & PoliticsVia: jbb • 4 months ago • 3 comments
D.C. police lieutenant delivered pre-Jan. 6 tips from Tarrio to Capitol Police, Proud Boy's lawyer says
The messages were the latest twist in the trial on charges that Tarrio and four other Proud Boys leaders conspired to violently prevent the transfer of power.
During his own testimony to the Jan. 6 select committee, Tarrio alluded to his contacts with the police, indicating that he coordinated his group's movements in December 2020, during a large pro-Trump rally. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In the weeks before Jan. 6, 2021, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio shared information about his group's planned activities with a D.C. police lieutenant, who then passed it along to top intelligence officials at the U.S. Capitol Police, Tarrio's attorneys indicated on Wednesday.
Sabino Jauregui, Tarrio's lawyer, said he hoped to show jurors messages between Lt. Shane Lamond and the Capitol Police intelligence unit's director, Jack Donohue, that passed along information Tarrio had provided.
His comments, amid the seditious conspiracy trial of Tarrio and four other Proud Boys leaders, were meant to blunt the suggestion by prosecutors that Lamond, a 22-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, routinely passed along sensitive investigative information to Tarrio — and rarely got anything from Tarrio in return.
The messages were the latest twist in the trial on charges that Tarrio and four other Proud Boys leaders conspired to violently prevent the transfer of power from then-President Donald Trump to Joe Biden, who won the 2020 election. Tarrio, because of his arrest, was not in Washington during the riot, but he remained in contact with other leaders, who marched on the Capitol and were present at some of the most significant breaches as the mob approached the building.
Prosecutors say the Proud Boys played a leading role in pushing the crowd toward weak points in the Capitol's defenses and that their own "hand-selected" allies were responsible for breaching police lines — and ultimately the building itself — at multiple points.
The details of Tarrio's relationship with Lamond had largely remained shrouded in mystery until Wednesday, when prosecutors unveiled dozens of messages between the two.
Over several months, including the crucial weeks before the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Lamond appeared to provide Tarrio with inside tips about investigations pertaining to the far-right group.
Lamond, who defense attorneys have lamented is unable to testify in Tarrio's defense because of the threat of potential prosecution he faces, repeatedly sent messages on encrypted platforms to Tarrio in the weeks before Jan. 6, even tipping off Tarrio to his impending arrest for burning a Black Lives Matter flag at a pro-Trump rally in Washington in December 2020.
Prosecutors emphasized that this wasn't a typical relationship between an investigator and an informant or cooperating source. Typically, it was Lamond who appeared to volunteer sensitive information about investigations connected to Tarrio, even when Lamond had learned that information from other agencies, like the FBI or Secret Service.
And Tarrio, in turn, shared that information with Proud Boys allies, informing the group on Jan. 4, 2021, that the warrant for his arrest "was just signed." He would be arrested the next day when he arrived in Washington ahead of Trump's "Stop the Steal" rally, which would later morph into a riot that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
"That info stays here," Tarrio told allies in one private chat.
The relationship between Tarrio and Lamond has been an enigma. Defense attorneys have pointed to it as proof of Tarrio's close relationship with law enforcement and his willingness to give police departments a heads-up about Proud Boys activities.
During his own testimony to the Jan. 6 select committee, Tarrio alluded to his contacts with the police, indicating that he coordinated his group's movements in December 2020, during a large pro-Trump rally.
"I coordinated with Metropolitan Police Department to keep my guys away — on these marches, to keep them away from counter-protesters completely," Tarrio said. "I would say, 'Hey, I want to march to the monument,' and they'd tell me, 'Hey, there's counter-protesters between where you are and the monument is.' And I'd be like, 'Okay, I'm not going to march 4 over there. We'll march in the opposite direction.'"
But he didn't specifically identify Lamond. In their own Jan. 6 committee interviews, Donohue and his deputy, Julie Farnam, described coordinating with Lamond — a top intelligence official with the D.C. police — about potential threats. Neither Donohue nor Farnam, referenced getting Proud Boys-related tips or any information derived from Tarrio.
Robert Glover, commander of the Metropolitan Police Department on Jan. 6, told the House select committee that the Proud Boys had had interactions with the department throughout 2020 and "always want to make it look like they're law enforcement's friends." Robert Contee III, chief of the D.C. police, told the committee that Tarrio had been on the department leaders' radar ahead of Jan. 6, including in a security briefing with Mayor Muriel Bowser a week before the riot.
"I forget the date that the warrant was actually signed for his arrest," Contee told the committee, describing a Dec. 30, 2020, briefing with the mayor. "But that was kind of lingering out there, MPD world, something that we were following up on."
The Jan. 6 select committee also indicated that Lamond forwarded other intelligence to the Capitol Police, including a tip from a "civilian" who lives near Washington who warned of stumbling upon a pro-Trump website that featured "detailed plans to storm Federal buildings, dress incognito, and commit crimes against public officials."
Prosecutors repeatedly suggested Lamond's contacts with Tarrio appeared to be a one-way street, with Lamond repeatedly providing sensitive nonpublic information to Tarrio, which he'd characterize as a "heads up." For example, Lamond appeared to give Tarrio advance notice that an arrest warrant for Tarrio was imminent.
The department's criminal division "had me ID you from a photo you posted on Parler," Lamond indicated on Dec. 25, 2020. "They may be submitting an arrest warrant to U.S. attorney's office."
To emphasize that point, prosecutors elicited testimony from FBI Agent Peter Dubrowski, one of the agents handling the post-Jan. 6 investigation of Proud Boys leaders, describing how unusual it is for law enforcement officials to share investigative information with someone who may be the subject or target of a probe.
"I see no benefit [to law enforcement]," Dubrowski said on the witness stand in response to questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor Mulroe.
With the jury out of the room, Tarrio's attorney, Sabino Jauregui, indicated that many of Lamond's private communications would also show that he made use of information Tarrio provided him to inform superiors — and even other police agencies like the Capitol Police — about the group's plans and activities.
"We have example after example," Jauregui said, noting that Lamond would often tell superiors that "my contact" — Tarrio — had informed him about the timing and locations of Proud Boys activities. He said Tarrio even told Lamond about when he would be arriving in D.C. to help facilitate his planned arrest. Some of Tarrio's information was directed from Lamond to Donohue in the weeks before Jan. 6, Jauregui said.
The trial featured some of the first discussion, with jurors present, of confidential human sources that the FBI relied on to investigate the Proud Boys. Prosecutors suggested that defense counsel had confused the matter by equating those sources — members of the public who voluntarily share information with law enforcement — with undercover FBI agents.
Dubrowski said there were no undercover FBI agents monitoring the chats of the Proud Boys. However, prosecutors emphasized that there were sources within the group who grew alarmed and provided information to law enforcement.
So if the DC police had information in advance and shared it with Capital Police, why was the Capital so unprepared for Jan 6th? Something seems to be missing from this partisan piece. Why don't we have honest journalists who write and share the entire story?
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